Available On Disney+: The Sign Of Zorro

I consider myself to be a Zorro fanboy. In my youth, I would watch my father’s VHS recordings of the original Disney television series from the late 1950s. I attribute my love for Bruce Wayne/Batman to my early experiences with this series, watching Don Diego de la Vega don the black mask of Zorro to protect the people of California from ruthless authoritarian rule. And now, I and many fans of “the Fox” can now relive those experiences thanks to Disney+.

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Available now on the new streaming service from the Mouse House is the 1958 film The Sign Of Zorro. Compiling eight episodes of the series into one full-length film, The Sign Of Zorro features young De La Vega (played by Guy Williams) returning from his schooling in Spain to find that the people of Mexican California are under the oppressive rule of Capitan Monastario. Determined to defend his people, Diego decides to fight against Monastario. Instead of standing against him in public and endangering his father, Diego creates Zorro, his masked vigilante alter ego dressed all in black. Atop his trusty steed Tornado, Diego fights injustice as the masked protector of the people, waging a never-ending battle against Monastario and any corrupt figures who wish to enslave the people.

While Williams is also known as the actor who portrayed Professor John Robinson in the original Lost In Space television series, it was his performance in Disney’s Zorro that brought him his initial mainstream fame in the late ’50s. Based on the original stories written by novelist Johnston McCulley–and coming nearly four decades after the first film The Mark Of Zorro and its later remake in 1940–Disney’s television series brought “the Fox” into the spotlight of Hollywood once again. With a number of remakes scattered throughout the following years, the series became a basis for the Steven Spielberg-produced, Martin Campbell-directed hit The Mask Of Zorro, starring Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

To all Zorro fans, this movie/pilot is currently placed comfortably in the Disney+ streaming library, awaiting your attention. For those who have never seen it, it is definitely an enjoyable time warp–not only back to a late ’50s Disney production, but also to a swashbuckling, pre-state Californian western. When you have the time, give it a chance, sit back, and enjoy the cunning Mexican vigilante who would eventually inspire a billionaire orphan in Gotham City.

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